Mary Chapman, Associate Professor of American Literature at the University of British Columbia, discusses the powerful influence literature had on the woman's suffrage movement in the United States. Presented by the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area to celebrate "Liberty Awakes," an exhibit on local woman suffragists, this fascinating podcast offers an unique look at various ways the written word and other voiceless speech methods were used during and after the movement.
Happily, this podcast also coincides with the publication of Mary Chapman's ground-breaking book, Treacherous Texts: An Anthology of U.S. Suffrage Literature 1846-1946.
Part 1: Introduction. Describing Professor Chapman's suffrage research at the University of British Columbia and how she became fascinated by suffrage literature. What were suffrage literature's origins? And how did one form,the use of allegory contribute to the movement? Was there a relationship between literature and what the suffragist wardrobe? How did the suffrage movement use fashion to draw supporters and expand the cause?
Part 2: In what ways did print culture impact the suffrage movement? What were the beginnings of the voiceless speech? And how did it differ from other types of advocacy? Was it an innovation? How was voiceless speech used to get the message across? Did it become an entertainment? And if so, did it detract from the cause and the message?
Part 3: What different types of voiceless speech were used? What was the importance, for example, of the silent sentinel protests? Were there women in the suffrage movement who didn't approve of voiceless speeches as an effective technique? And what happened to voiceless speeches after suffrage?
Part 4: What place does voiceless speech hold as a form of protest in modern times? An example of Professor Chapman's favorite voiceless speech: Valentine cards sent to politicians in 1916. Finally, how do we judges these forms of speech as literature?